Source: Download Festival 2017 – Artist News
HAILING FROM AUKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, LIKE A STORM ARE KNOWN FOR COMBINING HEAVY BARITONE RIFFS AND HARD ROCK SONGS WITH THE DIGERIDOO. WE SAT DOWN WITH VOCALIST AND GUITARIST, MATT BROOKS, AHEAD OF THEIR APPEARANCE ON THE DOGTOOTH STAGE AT DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2017.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A BAND? DID YOU GROW UP IN A MUSICAL ENVIRONMENT?
We definitely grew up in a family where music was a big part of our lives. Both our parents played and our grandfather is a really gifted musician, too. But even though we grew up surrounded by music, I don’t think anyone expected my brothers and I to all gravitate towards it the way we did. People often think we grew up playing together in some kind of family band – but we were actually all in totally different bands throughout high school. That said, when we were hanging out at home, my brothers and I would jam together a lot. We used to crank it up in the basement and play everything from Korn to Michael Jackson. I think that’s where we realised that we had a really natural musical chemistry. We all had the same crazy dream of playing music and touring the world, so we decided to form a band together. Shortly after becoming Like A Storm, we left New Zealand to pursue those musical ambitions – a journey which has taken us everywhere from Vancouver to Los Angeles to London. We are now lucky enough to get to live that dream we had as teenagers, joined by our incredible drummer Zach – who is like our American brother. So I guess we have finally become the family band that people always expected (laughs).
‘AWAKEN THE FIRE’ HAS HAD AN INCREDIBLE RESPONSE, INCLUDING LOTS OF RADIO PLAY. HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
‘Awaken The Fire’ really put us on the map as a band, which is amazing for an album that was recorded in backstage rooms & hotels while we on tour in America! We had something like five international singles from that one album and it allowed us to tour all over the US, UK and Europe, as well as New Zealand and Australia. When you grow up in Auckland, you certainly don’t expect to write an album that connects on such an international level – so we are really grateful to all our fans who made that possible.
YOU RECENTLY TOURED EUROPE AND THE UK WITH FELLOW DOWNLOAD PERFORMERS, ALTER BRIDGE. WHERE WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO VISIT?
That was one amazing tour! We always love playing in the UK and to do it with Alter Bridge, Volbeat and Gojira was just incredible. For me personally, the biggest highlight was playing the O2 in London. Stepping out onto that massive stage, playing in front of all those people…that was something I’ll never forget.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST THINGS ABOUT TOURING FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME?
To me, there are a lot of great things about touring! Firstly, you get to play music every night, which is what we love to do more than anything. And you get to travel the world and share these insane experiences with your best friends – and in the case of our band – your brothers. But touring for long periods can be pretty tiring – so you do have to look after yourself if you want to play your best every night. Especially as a singer, some days on the road you just need a decent night’s sleep more than you need a wild adventure (laughs).
YOUR NEW ALBUM, ‘CATACOMBS’ IS SET FOR RELEASE LATER THIS YEAR, WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM IT?
We recently released our first new song, ‘Pure Evil’, and we were absolutely amazed at the reaction to it. I think the new direction we took with ‘Pure Evil’ blew a lot of people’s minds, in the best possible way. So we can’t wait for them to hear the rest of ‘Catacombs’! Stylistically, I think this new album shows how we’ve grown musically – incorporating more of a progressive metal influence into the sound of Like A Storm. We’ve always loved writing anthemic, emotive songs and we grew up on heavy music – so our goal with ‘Catacombs’ is to combine the two in a way that we’ve never done before.
YOU’RE PLAYING ON THE DOGTOOTH STAGE AT THIS YEAR’S DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL. DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING SPECIAL UP YOUR SLEEVES FOR THE PERFORMANCE?
We’re so stoked to be performing at Download! We are so honoured just to be part of such a legendary festival, so to play so high up one of the stages is a real milestone for us. As for something special, we’ll be playing our new single, ‘Pure Evil’, for the first time on UK soil!
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO INCLUDE ON YOUR SETLISTS?
Putting a setlist together is always a really creative experience for us – almost like arranging the songs on an album. Between the didgeridoo and other instruments that we play, we always try to create a live show that is both entertaining and takes you on a journey musically. As far as song selection goes, certain tracks just really come to life on stage – like our last album’s opener ‘Chaos’. So we combine those songs with fan-favourites like ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and ‘Wish You Hell’.
IT’S NOT YOUR FIRST TIME AT DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL! DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM 2015?
Aside from Download 2015 being a massive career highlight for us…I think Chris teaching The Lounge Kittens how to play the didgeridoo backstage was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life. They filmed it for Kerrang! TV and it’s definitely worth watching.
IF YOU COULD PICK 3 OTHER PERFORMERS ON THE DOWNLOAD 2017 LINE UP TO COLLABORATE WITH, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
WHO SHOULD WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR IN 2017?
There are so many awesome bands out there right now! I would definitely recommend people check out Devilskin, who are an awesome band from New Zealand. If you haven’t heard of French metal legends Gojira, who we recently toured the UK with, then you are really missing out. And last but not least, Like A Storm, of course…I hear they have an epic new album coming out (laughs)